Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3Kα)/AKT axis blockade with taselisib or ipatasertib enhances the efficacy of anti-microtubule drugs in human breast cancer cells.

PMID 29100327


The Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3Ks) pathway is commonly altereted in breast cancer patients, but its role is still unclear. Taselisib, a mutant PI3Kα selective inhibitor, and ipatasertib, an AKT inhibitor, are currently under investigation in clinical trials in combination with paclitaxel or hormonal therapies in breast cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate if PI3K or AKT inhibition can prevent resistance to chemotherapy and potentiate its efficacy. The efficacy of combined treatment of ipatasertib and taselisib plus vinorelbine or paclitaxel or eribulin was evaluated A significant synergism of ipatasertib or taselisib plus anti-microtubule chemotherapy in terms of anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic and anti-metastatic effect was observed. The combined treatment completely inhibited the activation of proteins downstream of PI3K and MAPK pathways and affected the expression of survivin. Combined treatments completely disorganized the cytoskeleton in human breast cancer cells, with contemporary delocalization of survivin from cytoplasm to nucleus, thus suggesting a potential mechanism for this combination. Targeting PI3K may enhance the efficacy of anti-microtubule drugs in human breast cancer cells.